Speech: Business Growth Fund launch in Birmingham

By on 19/05/2011 in News

Leader of Birmingham City Council Mike Whitby’s speech at the Business Growth Fund launch in Birmingham on May 19 2011.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is a pleasure to host the launch of the Business Growth Fund here in Birmingham today, and to extend a special welcome to:

  • Business Secretary, Vince Cable,
  • Sir Nigel Rudd, Chairman of the Business Growth Fund
  • representatives from the banks supporting the fund.

The fund will play a vital role in driving growth and helping the UK's businesses to develop into enterprises that will support our communities for years to come.  

Supporting growth is a priority for this city as we work to develop a sustainable economy. 

Recently we worked with the private sector to create one of the country's largest Local Enterprise Partnership. 

We have also now created Finance Birmingham to support Small to Medium Enterprises - it's a perfectly complimentary fund to the BGF as it loans up to £1million.

Since our launch in 2010 we have invested £6million in Birmingham businesses and we are looking at making the service available across our LEP.

In addition to that we have given significant financial support to Marketing Birmingham to ensure the city has one of the country's best resourced inward investment programmes, with the recent launch of Business Birmingham. 

I am particularly encouraged by the potential of this £2.5bn fund that is being launched in Birmingham today. 

It will fill a growth capital gap for large SMEs - helping successful businesses to grow, expand and ultimately, help to rebalance the UK economy. 

It will also be focused on the sectors that will matter to this city and our region.

Birmingham's economy supports the youngest population in Europe, a generation that will experience great technological, environmental and social change as it adapts to a world that arguably is moving and advancing at a faster pace than ever seen before. 

We need to ensure we pass on thriving and independent regional urban centres that will offer a diversity to the UK's economy and that continue to make it competitive in today's global market.

It is this generation that will be helped and guided by the companies that will receive funding and support from the Business Growth Fund. 

It is these companies that will encourage our great minds to realise their potential as the UK focuses on leveraging its enviable business strengths, to support a strong and stable future economy. 

I can assure you that the City of Birmingham will be an active and able partner for the Fund moving forward.

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